The Arrowhead: Everything I Ever Believed Was a Lie

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

This article is different. It’s not about 3-4’s and 4-3’s, nor is it a plea for a one-gap (that was last year), or a safety that can run (this year). You won’t find a breakdown of the Pistol offense here, nor will you find a winding narrative as to why Kansas City is the perfect fit for Michael Sam (too obvious).

Looking for an Andy Reid fat joke? Look elsewhere.

No, this isn’t your typical post, but I’m writing it anyway – against my better judgment and at the risk of the AA readers, writers and editors alike questioning my sanity.

Let’s start at the beginning though, shall we?

I do all of my football watching in my father’s basement. He’s got a great setup: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround, a 70-inch flat screen, NFL Sunday Ticket, and a fridge stocked with ice-cold beer.

It was in this very basement this past season that my father and I first laid eyes on the Kansas City Chiefs wearing their now-famous red-on-red uniform combination for the first time. We were both thrilled at the sight of this, as we have both asked each other at times why they never did it.

A new combination. That was it. It was the same red pants and the same red jerseys that we had seen forever, just worn together this time. But, somehow the Chiefs seemed brand new that day – born again, as if they’d been baptized in the cleansing red waters of the Arrowhead Sea.

Our excitement at seeing this new look led to my father reminiscing (as usual) about the good ol’ days – namely, the Super Bowl win (he was 11), and the importance of having a good quarterback. The discussion then circled back to uniforms, and ended with my father claiming that the arrowhead, as he put it, “used to be much larger on the helmet than it is now.”

I didn’t believe him so I Googled it, and found something like this.

The logo on former Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson does indeed look to be  larger than it looks on say, current wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, pictured here (though not as much as my father claims):

Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (82) runs with the ball as Washington Redskins free safety David Amerson (39) chases in the first quarter at FedEx Field. The Chiefs won 45-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Then Dad said something that made my ears perk up. He said, “I don’t think they used the other arrowhead back then either.”

“What do you mean, ‘other arrowhead?’” I asked.

“You know, the ‘merchandise,’ arrowhead.” He said, as if this was common knowledge. I still had no idea what he was talking about, so I asked him to clarify. He in turn grabbed his iPad and ran a quick search for “Chiefs Helmet.”  What came up was a picture similar to the one below:

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

“Look at the ‘C’ inside the arrowhead. Do you notice anything?” he asked. At first glance, nothing looked out of the ordinary to me. It was the arrowhead that I had seen all my life. He continued: “The ‘C’ on the helmet is shaped differently. It’s lower ‘foot’ is thinner, and faces forward. Now look at your hat.” He took the cap off of my head and flipped it around. “The ‘C’ on your hat has a lower leg that’s fatter, and the tip points directly to the upwards towards the upper ‘foot,’ see?” He pointed at my cap and I started to notice what he was talking about.

He was right. These were two different logos.

Don’t believe me? Compare the above Chiefs helmet to the below pictures of my coffee mug and Chiefs mouse pad. You’ll notice that there’s not only a difference in the “C,” but in the very shape of the arrowhead itself.


It may have been a small thing to point out, but this, in its own weird way, was totally shocking. To think that something so familiar, so close to my heart was so very different than what I had always thought it was, was almost jarring.

My first question, as I’m sure many of you are thinking right now, was, “why?” My father didn’t know the answer to this one. He said that his best guess was that it “probably had something to do with the curvature of the helmet, but who knows?”

Right. Who knows?

This, my fellow addicts, is the perfect metaphor for football. You may look at something thousands upon thousands of times, and never notice anything is out of place. Whether you’re a coach, or a player, or a writer, or an analyst, football, in many ways, is about paying attention to details, finding patterns, and noticing inconsistencies that are hiding in plain site.

So let this spur a rousing debate below. First, we can talk logos. Have any of you ever noticed the different arrowheads before? Am I late to the party? Secondly, let’s talk about who or what may be “hiding in plain sight” for the Chiefs. I’ll go first: Anthony Sherman.

Your turn, guys.